|At A Glance
||earlier than 1800
"Black Gilliflower is supposed to be an
American variety. It was brought into the central and western portions of the state more than a hundred years ago by the
early settlers. It is evident that it was known in Connecticut as early as the latter part of the eighteenth century.
Manning mentions it in 1841 under the name Red Gilliflower and Hovey described it in 1850 under the same name, giving
Black Gilliflower as a synonym. It has generally been known under the simple name Gilliflower, which name usually
appears in the market quotation of this variety.
"Tree large, moderately vigorous. Form
rather upright spreading with moderately open top. Twigs long, slender, pubescent; internodes short to medium. Bark
dark olive-green and reddish-brown with thin gray scarf-skin. Lenticels rather numerous, small to medium,
roundish or elongated, raised. Buds medium, obtuse or acute, quite pubescent, appressed. Leaves rather
long, medium to above medium in size.
"Fruit medium to large, seldom very
large; very uniform in size and shape. Form long ovate to oblong conic, somewhat ribbed; axis sometimes a little
oblique. Stem medium to long, moderately thick. Cavity usually acuminate, rather wide, moderately deep to
deep, sometimes lipped but usually symmetrical with red russet or greenish outspreading rays. Calyx medium or
below, closed. Basin often oblique, usually very shallow and obtuse, varying sometimes to moderately deep and
abrupt, furrowed and much wrinkled.
"Skin thick, tough, nearly smooth;
yellow or greenish-yellow, striped or mostly covered with red, deepening to dark purplish-red or almost black, obscurely
striped with darker crimson, and with streaks of bluish-gray scarf-skin, especially toward the cavity, gibing almost the
effect of a dull bloom. Dots numerous, fray, rather small, not conspicuous, somewhat rough. Prevailing effect
in highly colored specimens dull dark purplish.
"Calyx tube large, wide, cone-shape
or funnel-form. Stamens median or above.
"Core large decidedly axile,
closed; core lines somewhat clasping. Carpels very long ovate, tapering both ways, emarginate, much tufted. Seeds
often abortive; when well developed they are above medium, acute to acuminate, somewhat tufted.
"Flesh whitish or slightly tinged
with yellow, firm, rather tender, rather coarse, moderately juicy eventually becoming dry, mild subacid, rich,
peculiarly aromatic, good for dessert and special markets.
"Season October to January or